Bosch: Electric Cars Will Soon Have Transmissions

Bosch predicts transmissions in electric cars

Most electric cars make so with direct drive – essentially a single “gear” that serves the car from 0 to 100 MPH and beyond. It’s an elegant, simple system that reduces the number of moving parts and lowers costs. If German electronics giant and auto-industry supplier, Bosch, is right, however, that may soon change.

If you have doubts about whether or not that’s a good thing, Go ride a single-speed bicycle for a while before hopping on a 10-speed and you’ll see some of the benefits of adding a little mechanical complexity.

Next, try to remember that when Brammo added a 6-speed transmission to its electric bikes a few years ago, they utterly changed the way electric motorcycles were perceived. Suddenly, the electric motors’ low-end torque advantage over ICEs could be maximized at speed, too.

Two years on, and Brammo is the only electric motorcycle maker to step up and challenge the internal combustion engines’ track day dominance – something that would have been impossible without a conventional multi-speed transmission.

So, good stuff ahead for EVs, then.

According to Bosch’s estimations, sales of electric vehicles will increase to 2.5 million units, globally, by 2020 while plug-in hybrids will also grow in popularity to some 3 million cars. The same report mentions annual sales of conventional (non-PHEV) hybrids will reach 6.5 million by the end of the decade- all of which jives nicely with Nissan-Renault’s estimates, also.

What do you guys think? Is a transmission the way forward for better performance and efficiency, or should the OEMs stick to advancing the state of the battery and energy storage art? Let us know what you think in the comments, below. Enjoy!

 

Source: Bosch, via WorldCarFans.

 

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.